Big Sky Yurt Supply

Ulaanbaatar-based suppliers of authentic yurts, components, and accessories
What We Do

Located in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and well-connected to craftspeople and reasonably-priced shipping networks, we source and ship authentic Mongolian yurts (gers), yurt parts, and furnishings around the world. We'll work with you to find what you're looking for, and get it all the way from here to you.

Why Mongolian Yurts?

As people around the world are discovering the beauty and utility of Eurasian nomadic dwellings, nearly a million Mongolians continue what for them is a living, millennia-old tradition. Mongolian gers are the sole housing for many families, serving as cherished gathering places and as trustworthy shelter against climactic extremes. Our business is to share both the enduring tradition and new possibilities of this unique type of dwelling.

How It Works

Rather than keeping a limited number of designs and components in stock, we source component parts – whether in sets for entire yurts, or piece-by-piece for additions or repairs – based on the customer's request. This means we are extremely versatile at finding what you're after – if it exists in Mongolia, we can obtain it and ship it to you for a reasonable price.

Mongolian Yurt Types

Traditional Mongolian yurts vary relatively little from one another in their fundamental structure – the exception being in the number of trellis walls, which determines the size of the yurt. A standard yurt has five trellis walls, giving a diameter of roughly 20 feet, but 4, 6, 8, and 10-walled yurts are all common, with rough diameters of 17, 23, 29, and 32 feet respectively.

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The exterior canvas coverings allow for some variation in their traditional decorative patterns. Standard designs feature blue or red meander patterns (alkhan khee), often in combination with the distinctive ulzii or "endless knot" motif, on a white background. Unadorned white coverings are also popular. Other, bolder blue or red motifs – which, like the more common ornamental devices, represent a richly complex symbolism – are more typically displayed on yurts erected for special occasions than on family homes.

Unlike the Turkic yurts traditionally used by Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and some other Central Asian peoples, Mongolian gers use straight rafter-poles rather than steam-bent poles/rods, and have a less steeply conical form as a result. Many Mongolian Kazakhs continue their own nomadic housing tradition, and Kazakh yurts and components are available in the country.

What Parts Is a Mongolian Yurt Made Up of?

A Mongolian ger is made up of a framework of portable wooden components, insulated and covered with felt and canvas. The framework consists of

- trellis walls (five for a standard ger), typically made of willow or birch, erected in a circle;

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- rafter-poles, lashed to the walls and fitted into holes in the roof-ring (the number varies widely, but 108 is traditionally favored);

- a roof-ring or crown, forming the center of the roof and the stovepipe-hole, or serving as a "skylight" if a stove is absent;

- two central pillars supporting the roof-ring;

- a wooden door.

The lattice wall sections are nearly always unadorned, but the other wooden components are customarily painted or carved with traditional patterning and can be remarkably beautiful.

The felt and canvas components consist of felt coverings for the wall and roof, which may consist of multiple layers during cold seasons; a cotton canvas exterior covering, typically white with blue or red decorative patterns (or plain); and a felt-and-canvas exterior covering for the roof-ring. Multiple-section felt flooring-pieces are sometimes used. A patterned cloth "curtain" to cover the felt of the walls and roof inside the ger is a 20th century fashion and a matter of preference, with many people still preferring the look of bare felt.

FAQ

Q: How do I go about getting a yurt (or parts, or accessories) from you?

A: Just send us an inquiry via the contact form at the bottom of the page, and let us know what type of yurt, yurt parts, furnishings, or accessories you are interested in purchasing, along with any questions you have. We will reply within two business days to let you know your options.

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Q: Is a Mongolian yurt suitable for the climate where I live?

A: Mongolian yurts are versatile structures, and have been adapted effectively to a variety of climate zones across Europe and North America. Generally speaking, Mongolian yurt materials hold up best in drier climates – if you live in a wet or humid region, you may need to experiment with alternative insulation materials or look at options for sheltering your yurt from precipitation.

Q: If I order the components to build a Mongolian yurt, will you help me assemble it?

A: We are a small operation based in Mongolia, so once you've received a full set of components from us, the assembly will be up to you. Good instructional videos abound online; we suggest you take a look beforehand to get an idea of what it entails if you're new to it.

Q: How long will my Mongolian yurt components last?

A: Well-crafted wooden yurt parts should last for many years – the wooden roof-ring, for example, is customarily passed down through generations. Felt and canvas components are a different matter, and in Mongolian conditions need to be replaced about every three years. Whether your components last that long, or longer, will depend on the climate you live in and how you take care of them.

Q: How quickly and reliably can you ship my yurt parts to North America/Europe?

A: Mongolia is an isolated place, and large shipments can take six weeks in many cases to get where they are going. Smaller items usually take two-three weeks.

Q: Do you ship worldwide?

A: We will do our best to ship anywhere in the world. Let us know where you are, and we will find out what the options are.

Contact Us

Let us know what yurt parts you're interested in, or ask us any questions.